Five Vikings make ESPN’s list of top 100 most valuable players... - soccertrend
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Five Vikings make ESPN’s list of top 100 most valuable players…



Five Vikings made the cut on a new ranking of the top 100 most valuable players of the 2023 NFL season, which was put together by ESPN’s Seth Walder. First, here’s some context on how he put the list together: This is a purely descriptive exercise. All that matters is which players generated the most value in the regular season. The ballot represents my opinion, which is usually heavily influenced by quantitative evidence, such as pass block win rates and our Receiver Tracking Metrics. I factor in All-Pro teams and qualitative information such as Pro Football Focus grades, though, too. I also shared versions of the list with trusted colleagues and NFL team staffers to get feedback, which I consider quite valuable. To reconcile different positions, I considered how much value a player created over an average starter at his position. This means quarterbacks will dominate the top of the list because they play the position with the most variance, but also that there could be only 16 or so at most in the top 100. Another example is the league’s eighth-best offensive tackle is ranked ahead of the third-best running back, because running back value is much more tightly clustered than the value of tackles. And here are the five Vikings who made it: No. 55: RT Brian O’Neill (6th among OTs) No. 70: OLB Danielle Hunter (12th among EDGEs) No. 86: LT Christian Darrisaw (11th among OTs) No. 88: WR Justin Jefferson (14th among WRs) No. 90: S Josh Metellus (3rd among safeties) It’s an interesting group, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t think anyone would argue that Kirk Cousins and Jefferson are the Vikings’ two most valuable players, but their injuries in 2023 kept them from accumulating as much value for Minnesota’s season as they otherwise would’ve. It’s all about how you define that word. For Jefferson to even crack the top 100 despite missing nearly half the year is quite impressive (he was fifth overall in the 2022 version of this list). I’d argue that Hunter and Darrisaw should be higher and O’Neill could be a bit lower, but ESPN’s win rate models have always loved O’Neill. It’s cool to see Metellus on here as one of just three safeties in the top 100 (behind Antoine Winfield Jr. and Kyle Hamilton). He was phenomenal in 2023 and provided a ton of value to the Vikings with his versatility and production.


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